Top Mud Sites Forum Return to TopMudSites.com
Go Back   Top Mud Sites Forum > MUD Players and General Discussion > Tavern of the Blue Hand
Click here to Register

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-27-2005, 02:57 PM   #1
Spoke
Member
 
Spoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 101
Spoke is on a distinguished road
Unhappy

In the MU* community, addiction to the game is a very real and omniscient . I doubt there is a single MU* that does not have at least a few of its players addicted to it. This has probably caused many people, and probably many of us who are reading this post right now, to be hurt in grades in school, hurt in personal relationships, or other aspects of our lives.

A month or so ago, when a MUD made its way back to TMS and caused an upsurge of flame-wars, I felt compeled to go through their web-site and check what they were about and what they had to offer. One of the things that impacted me was that they have a section of their web-site (here) dedicated to player-addiction.

In the MUD I play, there is a character-freeze command, that allows a character to freeze themselves for a given number of hours, and in principle, unless due to a sincere error, IMMs will not reverse the freezing. This works as a way to self-regulate one's playing time. (From help file: The 'FREEZE' command allows you to freeze your character for a number of hours. This command can be great in helping make sure you get your homework done )


The topics I would like to discuss are:

- Being a business/hobby that depends on how much time/money your customers/players spend in your game, does it make sense to try to raise awareness among the playerbase about what the consequenses of game-addiction might be?

- How should the MU* administrator handle the issue of players playing too long hours, or, should they even care?

- What would be the advantages/disadvantages of atempting to keep players aware of this potential problem?

I would love to hear from Admins who have done this or thought about it, and also from players who have been/seen victims of the addiction to online text games.
Spoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2005, 03:40 PM   #2
Earthmother
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Home MUD: GateWay MUD
Posts: 68
Earthmother is on a distinguished road
Hello, my name is Earthmother, and I am a true MUD addict.

I believe that

1) Yes -- it is good for admin to acknowledge that what they run is something with addictive qualities... most MU*s are _designed_ to keep people coming back for more. Like a casino, it is wise for them to acknowledge that many of us can and do have problems with addiction.

2) Admin cannot be held responsible for HOW people use their game. Admin *should not* be held responsible for it, even though they are the people providing it. The tobacco companies have already taken the first hit in this downward spiral, and that sucks. If admin are held morally or legally responsible for the behavior of users, then *individual responsibility for one's actions* is undermined. There is enough of that going on, especially in the United States. Abdication of personal responsibility for one's actions is the norm, and the courts are full of people looking to blame someone else for what they've done in their lives.

3) I am not a 'victim' of my addiction. I have chosen a lifestyle that is outside the cultural norm of the culture at this time. It is my *choice*, and it always was MY choice. I *do* choose to interact with people online more than I choose to interact with people in real life. People online are real people too, and I LIKE the fact that I get to interact with folks from all over the world, who I would never *get* to meet in real life. I also am not beholden to these people: they are not knocking on my door at 4 am, asking for cash to post bail for their loser S.O. who just got busted for a DWI. The people who remain in my virtual world are people who, for better or worse, are smart enough to cut it. I don't regret choosing to spend time with them rather than random people in my neighborhood, who are looking just to use me.

4) The world is a' changing. The internet is, for better or worse, part of everyday life. Yes, gaming may seem like a 'waste of time,' and when children are neglected, homework, work, or housework is neglected, and family ties are neglected in favor of virtual time, then the person who is gaming should re-assess their priorities. However, computing, whether it be MU*ing, emailing, or simply surfing the web, is an activity that MILLIONS of people are involved in daily. It is an 'addiction' that goes far beyond gaming. People are lonely, and online interaction is as emotionally fulfilling in many ways as 'normal' interaction.  


I read the link to Med's page that was referenced... and it is good stuff. The only part I disagreed with was that the players 'joke' about being addicted. The kind of statements they reference are not really jokes, and I doubt people *really* mean them as jokes. They may come across as wit, but every statement like that is tinged with some sadness, I'd wager. There is very real guilt associated with MU* addiction. People outside the community do not understand, and they are very jealous of time others spend there. MU*ing can be a very selfish activity. Many MU*ers I know are people with serious issues in real life, myself included. I do laud Medieva's staff for making a page about the problems, much as I laud the casino gaming commissions for having toll-free numbers addicted gamblers can call. But I refuse to hold any MU* administration responsible for the RL behavior of their players.
Earthmother is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2005, 05:00 PM   #3
Spoke
Member
 
Spoke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 101
Spoke is on a distinguished road
Smile

Very close to what I think, EM, is there any ADMIN with a formed opinion about this topic who would not mind to share it? or another player?
Spoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2005, 10:19 PM   #4
Singer
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 17
Singer is on a distinguished road
Well, I always been very focused of creating and dreaming things up.

Discovering mud's and online gaming might have cost me a book or two by now.

But Muds tend to affect one harder then one thinks. Since it is an outlet for your suppressed desires and fantasies - it get tied to your ego and your 'reward' mechanisms in a very real way.

Had a very bad experience recently, and it was the last straw on a period of my life that can only be described as 'the worst year of my adult life'. And I was a zombie for a week, could hardly convince myself to make food - and I had problems sleeping and issues with fits of rage for three weeks after that. Something I havn't experienced since I was a teenager.

So Mud's can bite you, harder then can be imagined. And when you go cold turkey, there are real withdrawl symptoms. All the classic textbook ones from an addiction.

I know a friend that feels that it was harder to quit playing Mud then quit smoking.

That feels a bit absurd to me, but then he was admin on three muds - one of the biggest one in the country.

It is like a lot of things, when you are on the top of your game - nothing will shake you. But when you are down and shaky, or don't have much 'reward mechanisms' in real life I think Mudding can be a real danger to your 'real life'.
Singer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2005, 10:31 PM   #5
Singer
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 17
Singer is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Earthmother @ May 27 2005,16:40)
3) I am not a 'victim' of my addiction. I have chosen a lifestyle that is outside the cultural norm of the culture at this time. It is my *choice*, and it always was MY choice. I *do* choose to interact with people online more than I choose to interact with people in real life. People online are real people too, and I LIKE the fact that I get to interact with folks from all over the world, who I would never *get* to meet in real life. I also am not beholden to these people: they are not knocking on my door at 4 am, asking for cash to post bail for their loser S.O. who just got busted for a DWI. The people who remain in my virtual world are people who, for better or worse, are smart enough to cut it. I don't regret choosing to spend time with them rather than random people in my neighborhood, who are looking just to use me.

4) The world is a' changing. The internet is, for better or worse, part of everyday life. Yes, gaming may seem like a 'waste of time,' and when children are neglected, homework, work, or housework is neglected, and family ties are neglected in favor of virtual time, then the person who is gaming should re-assess their priorities. However, computing, whether it be MU*ing, emailing, or simply surfing the web, is an activity that MILLIONS of people are involved in daily. It is an 'addiction' that goes far beyond gaming. People are lonely, and online interaction is as emotionally fulfilling in many ways as 'normal' interaction.  
While, in a way a little sad way to look at RL friends, I almost wish the internet was in existance and I had access to mud games when I was a teenager.

My real contact with the internet was with gopher during my hmm 16-17th year? And the www and html protocol was a bit of a dream.

Still, a small wake-up call is that most, and I say most virtual friends are the equivalent of a one-night-stand compared to real life friends and a real girlfriend/boyfriend. Virtual friends are casual, false and exists in most cases only because of people being lonely and conviniant.

And if you are wrong about someone (and you will be since you can't look them in the face when they are writing) they are going to hurt you - a lot. Since you thought there was a friendship, and there wasn't.

My childhood was #### in a handbasket, and after that it takes years or even decades for me to trust people in real life. It has paid off, the few real friends I have is to die for.

But in the digital world, it is so different. Perhaps the *squirms* younger generation doesn't feel the same difference between RL relationships and Virtual ones.
Singer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2005, 11:29 PM   #6
Jeena
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 49
Jeena is on a distinguished road
MU* addiction is real. But the person in control at all times is the person who punches in character name and password.

My own son began mudding at the age of 14, an age I deemed old enough for the complexities of Internet experience, with supervision. He played the mud I played, and therefore I was also able to monitor many of his contacts. He was still able to maintain a healthy social and continues to do so, though now he is 19 years old and still mudding in his spare time. He has a full time job and goals, with mudding a pleasant diversion during those downtimes when he's kicking his feet back to relax.

No admin can tell when a player's personal life is being impacted by the game. No one person can tell when another has had too much mud and another just the right amount. All these things are relative to every player. So it is virtually impossible for an admin to track what is acceptable and what is not.
On the mud I play voluntary freezes of requested lengths can be asked for and are given out easily. Players ask for them often so they can get through finals, or some personal crisis. Getting unfrozen requires the appropriate level admin to be on to do so. So it's not something that is a snap decision. But it is one tool a player can use.

There are occasionally days when I refuse to do a bit of house work in favor of playing my mud. On those days I order pizza or go pick up McD's. I don't turn down going out with friends in favor of killing a dragon. I don't pass up watching tv or movies with my husband in order to run an equipment zone.

Can an admin tell when I've been on too long, when I'm neglecting my family, when playing is having an adverse affect on my personal life, I don't see anyway that is possible. In fact, for an admin to presume to know such things about players is most likely going to be seen as overstepping bounds.

In some addictions time for intervention can be clearly seen. A drunk in a bar, needs a taxi called for him. A gambler borrowing money, a junkie without a home. These are all obvious signs.

But such signs are not apparent when a player is playing a mud.
Even people who talk about their personal lives are frequently exaggerating or only telling part of a story.
Admins should make players aware that Mu* addiction is real and let them know what the signs may be. But they cannot be held responsible for the personal decisions players may make when they are logging in.
Jeena is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2005, 11:41 AM   #7
Singer
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 17
Singer is on a distinguished road
Of course admins can't be held responsible for peoples personal problems or addictions. But they should, as pointed out have some responsibility for making people aware that it can be a problem.

Admins are people in power, and as all people in power they should be able to rule with compassion and fairness - or if they cannot do so they should resign and do something else.

All this in a perfect world.

We do not live in a perfect world however, and an mud should actually consider including a standard disclaimer that has been constructed with the help of juridical assistance. Perhaps even have a 'warning, for some mud's can be addictive and cause personal problems - if you are beneath the age of legal consent it is assumed that you have legal guardians permission.. jada jada' ..

It may come to that in a not-so-remote future.
Singer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2005, 04:00 PM   #8
Jeena
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 49
Jeena is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Admins are people in power, and as all people in power they should be able to rule with compassion and fairness - or if they cannot do so they should resign and do something else.
Admins control their game and the game environment. They do not control players' personal lives. They are not responsible for the personal lives of their players. Letting players know that there are some people who may become addicted to the game and the signs of addiction is a public service to their players. But I do not see that they are obligated to do so.
Minors should be supervised by adults if they are on the Internet doing anything, including Mudding. So, those responsible for the minor are his/her guardians. An adult is responsible for himself. Just as he is responsible for lighting up a cigarette, taking a beer, or throwing a few chips on a poker table.
At most, an admin can advise players on the addiction. But let's face it...people who become addicted to muds probably have issues other than the mud that is driving them to the fantasy worlds they want to spend all of their time in. I sincerely doubt emotionally and mentally healthy people are giving up their spouses, partners, children, jobs, and bathing for a game.
Should admin alert players to the possiblity of addiction? Sure, it is a public service, and a service to your player base. Should they be "responsible" for posting this information? No. Again, the responsible parties are those who log in and punch in password. Ultimately, if you're passing up bbq at the beach to kill dragons and run equipment zones...you've got a problem. But it's not cause by the Mu*. The mud is just a symptom.
Jeena is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2005, 11:20 PM   #9
Singer
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 17
Singer is on a distinguished road
Still, most that play muds are non-adult male teenagers. To suggest that they in fact has parents that know about their childrens gaming habits are slightly naive.

The same way as we in out country forces tobacco companies to write on the boxes *smoking causes serious damage to you and those around you* I see nothing wrong with a disclaimer or a piece on addiction on a muds website.

It is caring for those that make up some imaginary world with you, and as I mentioned above it can help remove the issue of legal responsibility should the matter arise.
Singer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2005, 12:18 PM   #10
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,298
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by (Singer @ June 02 2005,00:20)
Still, most that play muds are non-adult male teenagers.
Where did you get this demographic info from? As far as we can tell, the average age of people playing our muds is more around 23-24. I have no idea how that would differ from other MUDs.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2005, 01:37 PM   #11
kaylus1
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by
Quote (Singer @ June 02 2005,00:20)
Still, most that play muds are non-adult male teenagers.

Where did you get this demographic info from? As far as we can tell, the average age of people playing our muds is more around 23-24. I have no idea how that would differ from other MUDs.

--matt
I think it could differ from MUD to MUD but that wouldn't change the "overall" age of players in the MUD community. I have no demographic info to back this up besides personal experience, but I believe that the personality types of a player can have higher averages of different age groups. So a certain MUD could therefore attract a slightly differing age group than another.

As a side-note, i've also noticed that the average age in the community is in the early 20's, even though I myself started while 13 and now fall into the late 20's category. I also noticed that the gender issue isn't -as- profound as expected, though it is there. Then again, note that this is based on the MUD's I play and is influenced by my personality type. (I play mainly RP) (As a side-note, the second largest group on half of the MUDS I played would be the late 20's/early 30's group)

Actually I think this is an interesting enough topic that it may merit the creation of a web script (similar to the Bartle test, though with some modifications) to grab these demographics.

Kaylus@Solice
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2005, 02:12 PM   #12
the_logos
Moderator
 
the_logos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Mill Valley, California
Posts: 2,298
the_logos will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by (kaylus1 @ June 02 2005,14:37)
Actually I think this is an interesting enough topic that it may merit the creation of a web script (similar to the Bartle test, though with some modifications) to grab these demographics.
Well, that would give you the demographics of "People who go to that site and fill out those forms" but not the demographics of mud players generally, and there's no real way to tell how far off the results would be from reality. Opt-in polls are just not that useful.

--matt
the_logos is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Mud Addiction - Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Game addiction as a recognized "disorder"? Lasher Tavern of the Blue Hand 19 07-06-2007 11:28 AM
MUD Addiction Drealoth MUD Administration 29 03-12-2006 11:55 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Style based on a design by Essilor
Copyright Top Mud Sites.com 2014